The Best Thing My Mother Ever Gave Me

My mom does a lot of really annoying things.

She calls me really early in the morning, or really late at night. To talk about reality TV shows.
Whenever I’m on the phone with her, she hangs up abruptly to get another call…without saying goodbye.
She pees with the door open in the powder room on the main floor of our house.
She backed into my car when it was parked on her driveway…

But no matter how much I want to shake her and scream, “MOM IT’S 8AM ON A SUNDAY AND I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK OF RAMONA!” the woman has given me so much and I can’t forget that.

My mom is one of the most generous people I know, always giving her time and services to other people. She will do anything for me, including moving me and all my stuff from dorm to sorority house to house to apartment to apartment. She’s always in the mood for a trip to the mall and sometimes even throws her credit card down at the register. She’s an awesome cook, she’s pretty good at Scrabble and she did apologize when she backed into my car…

But the thing I’m most grateful for when it comes to my mom is the confidence and self esteem she has instilled in me.

I was a fat kid growing up. And not just baby fat. Fat fat. I was tall and big and had a perm – needless to say, I stuck out. But I never knew it. In fact, I didn’t realize quite how big I was until I looked at pictures from my childhood long after those years were over. At the time, thanks to my mom, I thought I was just like everyone else. You see, she was a plus sized woman, but I never realized there was anything wrong with that. I don’t remember my mom ever talking about her weight. I don’t remember her ever hiding herself or her body out of shame.

What I do remember is her putting on a bathing suit every day in the summer and enjoying our backyard pool with the many guests she’d invite over. Women who were half her size refused to take off their cover-ups because they had “fat thighs.” But not my mom. She wouldn’t even wear a cover-up. She didn’t care what people thought of her – she was going to enjoy that hot, summer day.

So that is how I grew up.

I never knew there was anything “wrong” with my body, so I never tried to hide or change it. My mother taught me that my body was my body and it was never something to be ashamed of. She never forced me to eat fruit instead of a brownie, or put me on a diet before I was ready. She didn’t want me to grow up thinking she didn’t like me the way that I was. She always just told me I was beautiful.

My mom let me make all my life decisions – from what I was going to eat that day to how I was going to feel about my body – on my own. And then, no matter what they were, she supported me. When I wanted to go on a diet, my mom went with me. When I started working out, she went with me. And when I had a bad day at school and wanted a giant ice cream sundae from the restaurant down the street, she went with me. And ate more than half.

She never focused on weight or size or numbers. She just focused on being happy, however that happened to look for me. So I grew up loving myself – even when there was a lot more to love.

I sometimes make jokes around my mom about how good looking and perfect I am now.

“How do you fit your head through the door?” she’ll ask me, shaking her head.  She can hate all she wants, but she created this self confident monster. And I love me her for it.

My mom is the bomb and deserves the world on this lovely Mother’s Day. My dream is to take her to a spa for a week to relax (it’s 10% off!), get pampered and reward her for everything she does. My reality is a Hallmark card and a giant hug. And this article. I love you, mom!

How has your mom shaped the woman you are today? Honor her in the comments section below!

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